Like most of you reading this I went through the agony of the on-off-on-please don't let it happen-oh bollox of Arteta's transfer. This was obviously the stand out momet of yesterdays shenanigans but there was a lot more going on with implications for the club
Well most of you ****ged him off last season and now he has gone. He was our best player from his first full season until his underachieving last time round. His set pieces went shocking and he misplaced more passes but most of us beleieved last season was a blip and that we had him nailed down on a long tem contract. We all knew that someone was likely to leave. What we did not expect was for it to be for only 10 million (5 - 6 million to little?) and for him to ask to leave. He still remeained our most creative outlet and will be hugely missed. I do not believe that this was all last minute - Drenthe was presumably only going to sign if Arteta left - and as I heard the confirmation that he was now an Arsenal player I remembered Moyes saying after the Blackburn game that he didn't know why Arteta took that last minute penalty instead of Baines - I guess he knew it might be his last game and wanted to sign off in style.
Our front line was already supermodel thin and now we have one less striker. The Yak leaving was no suprise and after hearing that he would be content to run down his contract and leave on a free I am happy we got a bit of cash back for him. I don't know how much he was on a week but I guees it was around £50,000 a week. All he really contributed last season was a the seasons 2nd best shoulder barge so it's good to have him off the wage bill.
What I didn't expect though is for Beckford to leave as well. He isn't on that big a salary and looked like he was going to be a useful prem striker. I guess we needed the money more.
So we are left with a hugely talented, injury prone veteran, a poor mans Emile Heskey and an unknown Argentine who speaks no English and will need several months to adapt backed up by Velios and Baxter. Not good enough.
Both should be excellent additions to the team. Strac will need time to bed in and get used to a quicker style of football but clearly has bags of promise. Drenthe is road runner quick and brings much needed cover on the left.
What I don't like is that they are both on loans when we have sold 3 more players. Unless we have first options etc added into the contracts then presumably they will get poached by someone richer and more ambitious at the end of the season.
So what now? Our finances need no further discussion - Moyes won't get any of that cash back - and we now have the smallest squad I can remember.
I think we are now paying the price for the 2 appalling starts to the last 2 seasons that left us just short of European football. We have a number of players in the squad who could hold their own in the Champions League yet we can not even off them the Euro league. The only shock will be now if more don't want out.
Unless the new boys hit the ground runningthe best we can hope for is mid-table. Do you really think that the likes of Baines, Heitinga, Jagielka and Fellaini will settle for that?
I can only hope that Moyes can galvinise the players to go on and prove us all wrong. The last time I felt this bad about EFC was after Rooney left and we did alright after that.
Still it's worth remembering that we have the leagues best left back, it's most promising homegrown talent in Barkley and half a dozen others who would look at home in a top 4 side. We really should be winning more than we lose.
Just pray we don't get too mnay injuries and that the bank man has been staved off for at least another year.